Openings and Closings

Red Coat, Alex Katz, 1982

Here in Saint Louis, we are experiencing both openings and closings, as the city tries to come to grip with the Coronavirus. Attractions, like the zoo, gardens and museums are opening up again, albeit at a much reduced capacity. While, shows like the Rep and the Muny have either punted or thrown in the towel altogether.  Both the zoo and the gardens have reopened this week for members only and will reopen to the general public next week. Both institutions now have a reservation system, to regulate traffic flow. We are garden members and I looked into ticket availability and there were none to be had. I heard word that the art museum plans to reopen at 10% capacity, which if indicative would explain the sellout at the already open venues. Meanwhile, the Muny has cancelled this summer’s season and is now looking forward to next year. Likewise the Rep is postponing its season at least until Christmas. The Rep waited until the week after season subscription renewals were due to announce this change in their schedule. Thanks a lot!

There are also openings and closings afoot at our two signature parks. Tower Grove plans on reopening all of its roads to vehicles, which will adversely effect us as this is now our new favorite walking destination. Forest Park is reopening most of its closed roads, to accommodate traffic to its reopening attractions, but is also closing other roads in the park that should help mitigate these changes, but I still miss those days of its wide open, at least for me, fairways.

Closer to home on our walks, I have noticed an increase in traffic, especially on Clayton Avenue. I expect that this will effect us, when we use crosswalks there. Controlled by the county and ever since the construction of the New I-64, the lights in and out of our neighborhood have been few and far between. Leaving me feeling locked up in the hood. With the coming of the pandemic and the associated collapse in traffic, this all changed. Now, I feel miffed if the light doesn’t instantly change the moment after I press the walk-light button. How quickly one can become jaded these days. With the resurgence of traffic though things might revert to the way they used to be.

I sure that there will be other such changes around town that will eventually come out. This being a summer where we will be mainly hanging around town, these local comings and goings will be much more impactful than in a normal year. One where we are out-of-town from Memorial Day to Labor Day. I had to cancel the remainder of our annual big summer camping trip’s reservations and lost some money, because some of the parks out west are reopening too. Such is life in the new normal. Even if everybody and his brother has willy-nilly willed all the virus away through a mass suspension of disbelief, is it too soon yet to call this the new post-pandemic world? Maybe. Maybe not.

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